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I'm back again. My portfolio construction project haa suffered a few interruptions. Now I see the problem with principle disappearing in a bond fund. There is probably the same problem with a bond ETF? So I have to buy individual bonds? Can I do that through my discount broker? (I have just opened an account. I don't know how they do things yet.) I have been trying to work bonds into the equation, because portfolio theory people recommend them as ballast for the volatility of stocks and stock funds. Figuring out the bonds part of the project is taking more time than the rest of the portfolio put together. If I have dividend paying stocks and stock ETFs, do I need bonds?
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